Floor Work When Dancing Outside of Egypt

Metal Serpent

New member
Hello! I'm new here and I tried searching for a topic that answered my question but I couldn't find any. If there already exists a topic like this one, I'm really sorry!

My dancing style is Egyptian but I love the look of floor work. I know that floor work is banned in Egypt but is it okay to do it when performing outside of Egypt?
 

Amulya

Moderator
I never do floor work, I'm not a fan of it, but there are dancers who can do it beautifully. It's more Turkish, am cab and tribal fusion styles that incorporate it. I think it looks good in tribal fusion. But it all depends on how it's done.
One of the reasons I don't do it myself is that it's bad for costumes, skirt can get dirty or even catch on things and snag. Not a good thing.
 

Kashmir

New member
If you add floorwork to non-folk Egyptian it ceases to be Egyptian. No problem with that - long as you are upfront about it.

When I started belly dance it was from a jazz background and I was pretty strong so I did quite a bit of floorwork - but not with Egyptian. My Egyptian stayed within genre and if I had music that cried out "floorwork" - it probably wasn't Egyptian anyway so I did a more generic belly dance. You could fuse the two - but why not keep two different styles to play with?
 

Aniseteph

New member
IIRC there are clips of golden aged dancers doing floor work, but a) within a movie context and b) it's by definition retro.

I'm not much of a fan because I'm sitting there worrying about the costume. Dirty floors, sitting on your beading :shok:, and how do you get up and down elegantly in most modern Egyptian costumes? And you wouldn't go on the floor in a fancy evening dress - it doesn't make sense.
 

BeatriceC

Member
Floorwork is used in Egypt, when it's part of a tableau.

Here's a clip of Fifi Abdo incorporating some floorwork into a baladi tableau, where she's playing the baladi wedding dancer:
Fifi Abdu: pink bedlah - YouTube

And here's Aida Noor incorporating it into her Shamadan routine:
Aida Nour 1 - YouTube

But as Kashmir has said, if you want to include floorwork beyond the way it is used in Egypt, you go ahead, that's absolutely fine, but it stops being Egyptian.
 

Kashmir

New member
IIRC there are clips of golden aged dancers doing floor work, but a) within a movie context and b) it's by definition retro.
Yep - pre(1952) revolution the dance was quite different. Golden Age Egyptian is a distinct style - and if you go for this you've opened a whole new set of restrictions to stay within style. (But again - nothing wrong with having a whole swag of Egyptian styles in your repetoire)

Floorwork is used in Egypt, when it's part of a tableau.

Here's a clip of Fifi Abdo incorporating some floorwork into a baladi tableau, where she's playing the baladi wedding dancer:
Fifi Abdu: pink bedlah - YouTube

And here's Aida Noor incorporating it into her Shamadan routine:
Aida Nour 1 - YouTube
Exactly - both slip into historic/folkloric. But also note the type of floorwork - basically a sit and shimmy. This isn't a restriction of venue. I've done shamadan and Mohamed Ali style classes with Aida - this is the style.

(Great clips by the way)
 

Metal Serpent

New member
Thank you very much for your answers! I'm new to belly dancing so I apologize if I asked a question to which the answer is obvious.
 

Jane

New member
[video=youtube;NIfIJtmJBXo]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIfIJtmJBXo[/video]
Diana Tarkhan starts her decent to the floor at 1:38. To "Samia" in an Oriental style dress in 2008.

I'll be the crazy person who disagrees. Floorwork is definitely Egyptian. They used to do it, they still have the ability and knowledge to do it, it just isn't allowed by law. I think that when (hopefully) Egypt has a secular government that represents it's people, arts will flourish without morality police interference.
 

Kashmir

New member
I'll be the crazy person who disagrees. Floorwork is definitely Egyptian. They used to do it, they still have the ability and knowledge to do it, it just isn't allowed by law. I think that when (hopefully) Egypt has a secular government that represents it's people, arts will flourish without morality police interference.
If someone says they are doing "Egyptian style" that is not anything that might be possible by Egyptian dancers. It is a specific set of styles - most often "Modern Egyptian" which has NO floorwork. Golden Age Egyptian did/does but the movement generation and posture is quite different from Modern Egyptian (or beledi or Reda or ...)

The alternative is to say Egyptian style includes balancing chairs in their teeth because they used to do it - or hula dancing because they can move their hips.
 

Jane

New member
The alternative is to say Egyptian style includes balancing chairs in their teeth because they used to do it - or hula dancing because they can move their hips.
I must be a nut. I'd include the chair in teeth as Egyptian style *if* it was a common part of dance for a long time. Floorwork was a common part of Egyptian dance for a long time (and may be again) so I stand by my opinion. Just because it's not being done lately, does not mean it's not Egyptian. It's not contemporary Egyptian, but it is Egyptian.
 

Jane

New member
Back to the original post.

If you are doing a retro-Egyptian Oriental piece or folkloric Egyptian that would normally include floorwork then yes, include it as appropriate.

If you are doing contemporary Egyptian raqs sharqi then I would say you can include floorwork, but it had better be:

- completely thought out from a place of knowledge
- Egyptian in style
- a good fit for the music and not just thrown in for the hell of it
- done very well because it will be scrutinized when seen by an educated audience- but isn't everything? :)

So I'd give OP a yes, a conditional yes, but still a yes.
 

MizzNaaa

New member
:( I wish dancing like it used to happen in the Egyptian golden age was still thriving. These are the movies and dancers I learned how to raks baladi/sharqi by watching. Maybe one day, hopefully.
 
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